Biocides are chemical substances or products intended to destroy, deter, render harmless, prevent the action of or otherwise exert a controlling effect on any harmful organism. Such products include skin and surface disinfectants, pesticides and preservatives. The common active substances used in disinfectants include ethanol, hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorite.
All active substances used in disinfectants are assessed and approved at EU level. The Biocidal Products Regulation was adopted in 2012 and has been applicable in all EU member countries as of 1 September 2013. The aim of the regulation is to harmonise the legislation concerning biocides within the EU and ensure a high level of protection for humans and the environment from possible risks related to biocides.
Once an active substance has been approved, a product authorisation must be sought for any product containing the substance by a given deadline. For disinfectants containing hypochlorite as an active substance, product authorisations had to be applied for by 1 January 2019. The sale of products for which authorisation was not sought will end on 1 July 2019.
Disinfectants containing hypochlorite will be available as normal after the EU regulation deadline
Seeking a product authorisation is not only a matter of filling in an application. It is an extensive assessment procedure in which a product is tested and assessed from the perspectives of effectiveness, environmental impact and safety. The effectiveness of products on target organisms is tested by an external laboratory through official EN tests and stability is verified through long-term stability tests and monitoring. Safety and environmental effects are assessed by experts with the help of product information and literature surveys. In addition, the authorities will review and approve all documents related to the use of the product such as labels, product information sheets and safety data sheets.
Authorisations have been sought for all Kiilto disinfectants containing hypochlorite in accordance with the Biocidal Products Regulation and thus the sale of these products will continue as usual, also after July. The application process concerned the following products:
- Food industry disinfectant F 261 Kloriitti-Forte
- Food industry disinfecting detergents F 10 Hype, F 15 Hite and F 18 Trio
- Professional cleanliness and hygiene sector’s disinfectant Kiilto Hypo Dip
- Professional cleanliness and hygiene sector’s disinfecting cleaner Kiilto Pluschlor
Carefully tested products as a result
Seeking a product authorisation is a requirement for selling products within the EU. Otherwise the sale of disinfectants containing hypochlorite, also through distributors, is forbidden.
The application process is a major effort, both financially and in terms of the workload. Kiilto is, of course, fully committed to complying with the legislation concerning its products, but the decision to apply for the authorisations was also part of Kiilto’s responsibility. By doing this, Kiilto is able to continue manufacturing its products in Finland and offer its customers high-quality disinfecting hypochlorite products in addition to detergents containing an active substance.
“In addition, as a result of the application process we have even more carefully tested and assessed hypochlorite products and we can continue to sell them in compliance with the regulations,” says Quality Manager Teija Hovirinta.